Two brothers race to stop a political mastermind's massive bioterrorist plot in this terrifying espionage thriller.
In remote pockets of the Third World, a deadly virus is quietly sweeping through impoverished farming villages and shanty towns with frightening speed and potency. Meanwhile, in Washington, a three-word message left in a safe-deposit box may be the key to stopping the crisis—if, that is, Charles Mallory, a private intelligence contractor and former CIA operative, can decipher the puzzle before time runs out.
What Mallory begins to discover are the traces of a secret war, with a bold objective—to create a new, technologically advanced society. With the help of his brother Jon, an investigative reporter, can he break the story to the world before it is too late—before a planned “humane depopulation” takes place?
As the stakes and strategies of this secret war become more evident, the Mallory brothers find themselves in a complex game of wits with an enemy they can’t see: a new sort of superpower led by a brilliant, elusive tactician who believes that ends justify means.
Viral by James Lilliefors is an intense novel about corruption, genocide, and greed. This is one of the most horrifying novels I have read in a while. Why horrifying? It’s fiction but not completely unbelievable. With all the unrest and greed going on in the world today, the events portrayed in this novel are entirely within the realms of possibility.
The good guys, Charles and Jon Mallory, are trying to expose a plot to the rest of the world. Charles is a intelligence contractor and his brother, Jon is an investigative reporter. I have to beat around the bush a bit so I don’t disclose any spoilers, so hang in there with me. Charles is on the run for his life and leaving clues for his brother to follow without telling Jon exactly what it is that he’s following. Still with me? In the process of following the clues and trying to locate his brother, Jon also is placed in danger.
Now to the writing itself. Mr. Lilliefors’ work is very involved. There are a bunch of characters to remember. The main characters are the Mallory brothers but other characters are involved. I did keep forgetting who was who and thank goodness for the Kindle Fire book search option. Several times, I went back to find out if some individuals were “good” guys or “bad”. The reader doesn’t discover “the plot” until about a third of the way into the novel. While the writing is well done, there are parts of the book that drag. The descriptions are amazing and heartbreaking. The action shifts back and forth between Charles and Jon so you have to pay attention but I found myself skimming over some parts.
As a thriller, Viral does grip you but I found the ending a bit unsatisfying. Maybe after all the action and mystery it was too easy and predictable.
I would explore future work by James Lilliefors just to see what he comes up with next.
The prices for Viral are a bit steep. The Kindle edition is currently $5.59 and the paperback is $13.01.